TAPA has a blog post up yesterday that really made me sit back and think.Â TAPA explained how he currently has a job as an office pa on a movie that will last him until the end of the year.Â Recently he got an offer to work as a director’s assistant on a low budget horror film which he was ecstatic about.Â When he went to the interview he found out that the job would only last him 8 weeks, and he sadly had to turn down this dream position because he couldn’t afford to have that job and he decided to stay in his current position as office pa.
I started to think what would I do if I were in this position?Â It made me think of my predicament of being stuck on a hamster wheel and how I would love to be offered a different position.Â Would I bite the bullet and take the job knowing it would help further my career or would I stay at the steady job so I could pay all of my bills?
This is such a tough decision that I feel that a lot of people in our industry have to make.Â At what point do we need to start thinking about moving up in our careers and taking the gigs that don’t last that long over taking the steady ones in positions we have done countless times before?
I completely understand TAPA’s decision and I have to say I don’t blame him for staying in the longer gig, however, I think I may have taken the director’s assistant position and dealt with finding money to pay my bills afterwards.
Walt Disney said “All of our dreams can come true- if you have the courage to pursue them” and I agree with Mr. Disney 100%.Â We have to have the courage to take the chance for our dream jobs to happen.Â If we do not then we will remain in the dreaded hamster wheel and never truly get to where we want to be.
Lately I have been asked a lot about how I find my next gig.Â From what I have seen over the years there really is no “right way” to get a job in this industry.Â Â There are tons of stories out there of insert-big-celebrity-name-here’s brother-in-laws nephew getting a job because he is “close” to that big name celebrity.Â But what about everyone else that doesn’t have the hook up from someone big?Â How do they manage to break in?
Well honestly it takes a lot of work.Â To break into the industry not knowing anyone is probably the toughest and most frustrating thing you will ever do.Â Your best bet is to check out job lists and websites.
One of the biggest job lists is of course the UTA joblist which has all of the assistant jobs available in Hollywood.Â I send it out through the film job google group so sign up to be a member to get the list. Keep in mind the the UTA joblist only has assistant jobs, not production jobs.Â So if you want to work on set you will have to find jobs elsewhere.
Other job lists that are good to check out are Production Weekly and The Mercury Report.Â Both of these can be found online, however, you do have to pay to receive them.Â These two lists have everything that is going into production including contact information.Â I have actually gotten a job by randomly emailing one of the companies, so it never hurts to just send an email.
You next best bet for job hunting if you don’t know anyone is to hit up the job websites such as realitystaff.com, media-match.com, mandy.com, craigslist.org and productionnotices.com.Â These are all pretty great websites that post several job openings but keep in mind they, yes even craigslist..just really read when you apply to something.
Finally the most important place to find jobs is through networking and making friends.Â Hollywood runs on who you know so networking is vitally important.Â Make sure you always have your past coordinator’s emails or phone numbers because who knows what they could be working on next. Â Websites like keypa.net (which is now apparently The Hollywood Ladder) hosts networking events a few times a year.Â Also look into your local film commission or any other filmmaker group in your area.
How do you all find your next gigs?
So after sending out the list I get to all of you I was wondering has anyone actually gotten any job from it?Â Or at least a response from applying?
Leave your comments!
For those of you writers out there wanting a different way to break in rather than submitting query letters out to every agent and production company in town there are several fellowships and contests deadlines coming up.Â Here are the links:
Warner Brothers Writers Workshop – Weds June 1
ABC/Disney TV Writing Fellowship – Weds June 1
NBC Writers on the Verge – Thurs June 30
Austin Film Festival – Weds June 1 (late screenplay deadline and teleplay deadline)
Final Draft Big Break Contest – Weds June 1 (late deadline Weds June 15)